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WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) – Sen. John McCain, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last year, has lost his battle with the disease.
He passed away on Saturday at the age of 81.
McCain’s family announced Aug. 24 that he had made the decision to discontinue medical treatment.
In a statement, McCain’s family said the Arizona senator has surpassed expectations for his survival, but “the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict.” The family added: “With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”
Family members said they were immensely grateful for the support and kindness shown by McCain’s caregivers and for the outpouring of concern and affection by thousands of people.
McCain was in his sixth term representing Arizona. He had been away from the Capitol since December.
He leaves behind a wife and and seven children.
Last October, McCain was awarded the Constitution Center’s prestigious Liberty Medal during a ceremony in Philadelphia. Sen. McCain received the honor for his decades of service to the United States, including his time in the Navy and Senate.
Before accepting the award, McCain sat down with CBS3’s Jessica Dean to talk about his decades of public service, his health and why he wakes up everyday grateful.
“I’m probably the luckiest person you’ll ever interview,” McCain said as he reflected on the life he’s lived. “Because of the life I’ve had. I mean to be able to fly airplanes, to be part of an organization filled with people I loved and respected, the ability to serve in the House of Representatives and the Senate, their presidency. I guarantee you if my old company officer had been told that I would be a candidate for anything other than dog catcher, he would have been surprised.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)